Why Single-Occupancy Restrooms?
Individuals whose gender identity and expression are perceived by themselves or others to be different from what is considered “normal” by society, for their assigned gender at birth, often face great difficulties in attempting to use restroom facilities. Their levels of discomfort, as well as others' levels of discomfort, often cause altercations or instances of insensitivity. Such instances may force these individuals to choose between encountering these confrontations or planning in advance to take alternative routes around campus, based on where they feel safe and comfortable using restroom facilities.
In addition to LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities benefit from single-occupancy restrooms which meet accessibility requirements per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For instance, individuals using mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, or those who have personal aids, especially those with personal attendants of a gender identity different from their own, may appreciate the private space.
Police officers may also benefit from the inclusion of single-occupancy restrooms. In fact, police departments at other universities, such as the University of California-Riverside, have supported this initiative. Officers have expressed their preference for lockable, single-occupancy stalls due to the fact that having their belts, which include their firearms, handcuffs, and mace, within the reach of others while the officer’s attention is elsewhere, is concerning and potentially dangerous.
Families may also appreciate the option of utilizing these spaces. Parents with children may hesitate at bringing them into restrooms designated for a different gender. Additionally, parents with multiple children may find it difficult to navigate multi-stalled facilities. Also, baby changing stations are typically found in women's restrooms, not men’s, thus making it difficult for men caring for babies to find appropriate spaces. In all of these instances, single-occupancy restrooms could greatly benefit families.
Being able to have access to lockable, single-occupancy, gender-inclusive restrooms benefits each of the groups mentioned above; these restrooms provide those using them with privacy and security and increase their overall comfort level navigating around campus.
- Black in Blacksburg
- Christiansburg Institute
- Cultural Leadership/ African American-Jewish Experience
- Interfaith Calendar
- LGBTQ College Student Guide
- Parent, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
- Program on Inter-group Relations
- Queer Grads and Allies
- Race: Are We So Different?
- Report on Programs and Services for LGBTQ+ Students at Virginia Tech
- A campus implementation team is working collaboratively to advance recommendations in the review.
- Safe to Relate
- Stop the Hate
- Undocumented students: DREAM Act
- Undocumented students: Mason Dreamers